In Sunday's AFC and NFC Championships games, the road teams came away with victories. The visiting San Francisco 49ers came back from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Falcons in Atlanta 28-24 in the NFC title game. In the AFC Championship game, the Baltimore Ravens traveled to New England and dominated the Patriots 28-13.
Those outcomes set up Super Bowl XLVII on February 3rd in New Orleans. The 49ers will take on the Ravens. The game will feature brothers coaching against each other. Jim Harbaugh is the head coach of the 49ers while older brother John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Ravens. It will be the first time in NFL history that siblings will face off as head coaches in the Super Bowl. Kickoff is set for 6:30 P.M., EST.
Beyond their recent playoff history, New England and Baltimore faced each other earlier this season. In that game the Ravens came back from a late 9-point deficit, capturing the win on a last-second field goal by Justin Tucker. Nonetheless, a Baltimore victory on Sunday was not guaranteed.
New England had a better regular season record, not to mention a storied playoff history that has landed them in five Super Bowls in the past 11 years. In addition, they had Hall-of-Fame bound quarterback Tom Brady, who last Sunday surpassed Joe Montana as the quarterback with the most playoff wins ever.
The Patriots played a solid first half, entering halftime with a 13-7 lead. But the second half was all Baltimore. In their first three possessions, the Ravens scored two touchdowns, both of them on Joe Flacco touchdown passes to receiver Anquan Boldin.
Meanwhile, the heralded Patriots offense struggled, hurt by two Brady interceptions and a Stevan Ridley fumble. Baltimore ultimately came out on top 28-13.
The NFC Championship game had San Francisco matching up against Atlanta.
Trailing by three scores midway through the second quarter, San Francisco rallied for two quick touchdowns. One came on a LaMichael James 11-yard run, the other on a four-yard catch by tight end Vernon Davis.
Still, Atlanta held on to its slim lead going into the fourth quarter. But with eight minutes left in the game, running back Frank Gore had a nine-yard touchdown run to give San Francisco a 28-24 lead. With just over a minute left, the Falcons got within striking distance of the end zone. But San Francisco defenders broke up two consecutive passes, sealing the win for the 49ers.